In Summer and Spring, especially Easter holidays are often a time for family holidays, trips of all kinds. While some people choose to travel by plane or train, most people prefer to travel by car. Before a car trip, it is essential to check 3 major details: the car, the route and the load.
Vehicle check-up before a long trip
Check the air pressure of the tires, including the spare tire.
- If you go for a long trip with a heavy load it’s better to refill more air into the tires, especially it makes sense to put more air into the rear tires because they will have a higher load.
- Usually, you can refill the air pressure at every petrol station for free, so it’s definitely worth doing
- However, you should drive maximum 10km before refilling the air pressure, since the tire might get warm which will change the reading
Oil, brake, coolant and windshield washer levels
- Check the brakes, steering, headlights and lights, battery and wiper blades.
- Check the levels of oil, brake and coolant fluids, windshield washer…
Essentials to take with you
- Make sure you have the following items on board: a warning triangle, a safety vest, a medicine kit, wheel change equipment and a flashlight.
- In summer, think of sunshades and sunglasses. Take enough water and drinks with you.
- In winter. Don’t forget the antifreeze liquid, a squeegee, gloves and special equipment (chains, snow tires, etc.) in case it is required.
How to properly load a car?
- Distribute the weights over the entire vehicle. Place the heaviest luggage as low as possible.
- Do not have any objects before the rear window, so you can see clearly through the rear mirror
- If you use roof bars, roof box, a bicycle carrier or a trailer, comply with the legal loading rules (exceeding the length of the vehicle, signage, etc.)
It’s very important to properly tighten and load the goods since those might become a danger to other people in case they fall from the car
- Load your vehicle the day before departure, if possible.
- Prepare your route by favouring highways or bigger roads.
- Find out about traffic conditions and weather forecasts for the entire route. Use apps such as Waze.
- It’s the holidays, no stress! So, take some time to rest. On the way, take a break as soon as the need is felt, don’t fight against sleep. As a rule of thumb a 30-minute break every two hours of driving
Avoid leaving after a day’s work, opt instead for an early departure.
Be aware that you are going away for long hours, remember to put on an outfit in which you feel comfortable to drive. Navigation Systems and Apps
If you don’t want to buy a navigation system, there is no need. If you have a smartphone, you don’t even need a mobile Internet or mobile network connection, GPS works for free without connectivity.
However, you would need to download the maps beforehand, so GoogleMaps is not always the best solution…
Our favourite navigation apps are:
- Co-Pilot. Download of one map for one country for free
- Offline Maps & Navigation on Google Play Store. Less quality then Co-Pilot, but completely for free
Pro Tip For Navigation
Learn how to navigate by just listening to the voice of the navigation system. Watching the map while driving is distracting and a potential cause for accidents. So try to just put the navigation system on the speaker and turn off the display.
Dont’s during navigating
If you realize in the last moment that you miss a turn, don’t make rush movements and try to catch it. It’s always better to have a small detour rather than taking a risk of an accident.